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Murder Suspect Carter Appears in Amherst Court - abc27 WHTM

Murder Suspect Carter Appears in Amherst Court

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Amherst Co., VA - The man accused of killing an Amherst County woman on Tuesday made his first court appearance Thursday.

Cordell Carter is charged with the second degree murder of 30-year-old Jennifer Johnson.

ABC 13 cameras were the only ones rolling for Carter's advisement.

There was beefed up security for Thursday's afternoon's hearing, in light of a massive 20 hour manhunt.

Cordell Carter walked in wearing a ballistics vest, surrounded by at least six law enforcement officers from both the Blue Ridge Regional Jail and Amherst County Sheriff's Office.

The advisement hearing lasted about ten minutes.

The judge told Carter he does not qualify for a public defender, so he'll have to hire his own attorney to defend him.

This, as we learn new details about the death of Carter's estranged girlfriend and mother of his six year-old son.

According to search warrants of Jennifer Johnson's home, paramedics discovered her body in a bedroom, lying next to a bed with an apparent gunshot wound to the upper chest.

The sheriff tells ABC 13 that Johnsons' two sons were inside the home when Carter killed Johnson.

The victim's family did NOT appear for Thursday's hearing.

Carter had two family members present.

Once Carter hires his own attorney, he's scheduled to be re-advised on January 29. The preliminary hearing scheduled for March 17.

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